Weekly App Roundup: Spotify changes, Meta’s shift into payment solutions, and more

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Welcome to the fourth edition of the Weekly Roundup! Today we’ve got quite a bit to cover on some upcoming and currently A/B tested changes, Meta’s payment solution for the layman user, Facebook Messenger’s quirky Soundmojis and more.اضافة اعلان

Spotify gets rid of Car View, releases yearly roundup

For the uninitiated, Spotify’s Car View was essentially a more basic version of their usual player that would activate once the app detected that the user was en route to their destination in a private vehicle.

This was a feature that was implemented for safety purposes in order to prevent users from having to accurately activate certain features on the app while driving. Instead, the back, play/pause, and next buttons became larger, the name of the song was enlarged, and most of the app’s additional features were turned off until Car View was manually turned off by the user.

It looks like Spotify has begun eliminating this feature as users are reporting that it no longer activates, neither automatically or manually, and has caused a little frustration amongst the Spotify user base.

It turns out that the company killed off one of its simplest yet most user-friendly features in hopes of building something new — at least, that is what Spotify’s official announcements have stated.

However more contrarian opinions on the internet have been vocal about this move being used as a power tool in order to force in Spotify’s latest product — the “Car Thing”.

The “Car Thing” is a smart media player for devices that looks to revolutionize the audio digital medium on your way home. It acts as a secondary device that is connected, or linked, via Bluetooth to your device and is, for all intents and purposes, an additional remote for your car’s sound system.

However, while this may sound futuristic and great for tech geeks, it comes at a JD72 cost and isn’t even available anywhere in the world outside of the US. Jailbroken versions can be found from certain retailers in the Middle East, however at a significant markup.

While it’s unclear if anything is going to replace Car View anytime soon, users are left wondering whether or not removing Car View from Spotify’s functionality was a cash-grab or a genuine push for more innovation.

In other Spotify related news, a small, nifty, and timely feature was released known as the “Wrap Up of 2021”. It gives users an overview of the songs they played throughout the year along with the total amount of time each song was listened to.

They include global statistics and metrics, too; head over to Spotify to check out the most streamed songs around the world, along with their total listen times across all users globally and potentially discover your next big morning hit.

Meta’s payment solutions expand

Meta, formerly known as Facebook Inc. has created a built in payment solutions into their Messenger app called “Split Payment”.

For all intents and purposes, Split Payment allows users to create goals for a collective group to achieve, which can then be contributed to by corresponding parties directly through their Facebook Messenger app.

The feature is currently being tested in the US, however a full rollout is anticipated to happen early in 2022 for all users across the world.

Facebook’s quirky Soundmojis

While not exactly a breaking headline, users can all agree that Facebook does have a tendency to release quirky and unasked-for updates to its apps — and as a result they now have ... Soundmojis.

As the name would suggest, Soundmojis are emojis that have a particular sound effect attached to them that play out when opened by the receiving party.
The sound bites aren’t just your average sound of applause for a clapping emoji either — there are many fun Easter eggs like the zipped-mouth emoji playing voice lines from Stranger Things, and the hourglass playing a snippet from a Drake song.

While no one ever asked for this, it just goes to show that, somehow, Facebook continues to try to shake things up in a relatively dated and seemingly fully explored technology.

Microsoft develops own video editor for Android

Microsoft has not been forthcoming about why they decided to invest their time into a seemingly small upgrade to their Android arsenal, it is nevertheless official: Microsoft now has a video editor for Android users.

The editor is relatively basic, with the majority of its functionality lying in the mixer’s ability to piece together video, add basic filters, and crop videos.
As mentioned, it’s not quite clear why time was invested into the app — after all, there are plenty of alternatives available on the market from alternate developers that offer significantly more functionality, for free, to their users. Examples of such apps include InShoot, Premiere Rush, and more.

While we are yet to receive a genuine Photoshop experience on our phones, this move from Microsoft may potentially signal a shift into the digital media space with the continued rise of TikTok and similar platforms.

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